Treatmentfor Guillain-Barr syndrome can help reduce the symptoms and speed up recovery.

Most people are treated in hospital and usuallyneed to stay in hospital for a few weeksto a few months.

The main treatments are outlined below.

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)

The most commonly used treatment forGuillain-Barr syndrome is intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG).

When you haveGuillain-Barr syndrome, the immune system (the body's natural defences) produces harmful antibodies that attack the nerves.

IVIG is a treatment made from donated blood that contains healthy antibodies. These are given tohelp stop the harmful antibodies damaging your nerves.

IVIG is given directly into a vein. Most people need treatment once a day for aroundfive days.

Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis)

A plasma exchange, also called plasmapheresis, is sometimes used instead of IVIG.

This involves being attached to a machine that removes blood from a vein and filters out the harmful antibodies that are attacking your nerves before returning the bloodto your body.

Most peopleneedtreatment every other day for a week or two.

This may include:

  • abreathing machine (ventilator) ifyou're having difficulty breathing
  • a feeding tube if you have swallowing problems
  • painkillers if you're in pain
  • being gently moved around on a regular basis to avoid Pressure ulcers and keep your joints healthy
  • a thin tube called a catheter in your urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) if you have difficulty peeing
  • laxatives if you have constipation
  • medication and/or special leg stockings to prevent blood clots

Once you start to improve, you may also needextra support to aid your recovery.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 16 Jan 2017